January 24, 2015

Norm-Criticism Conference: Call for Prep Team Members

IGLYO Calls, Events

CONFERENCE TITLE: Norm-criticism: Positive steps beyond criticism
LOCATION: To be confirmed
PREPARATORY MEETINGS: Mid to late March 2015 (4 days, including arrivals/departures) & May 2015 (2 days, prior to conference)
CONFERENCE: May 2015 (6 days total, including arrival/departure)

Deadline for applications: 23:59 CET, 13 February 2015 

IGLYO is proud to announce a call for four prep team members of the ‘Norm-criticism: Positive steps beyond criticism’ conference, to be held in May 2015. The location and host organisation will be confirmed in February. The event is kindly supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

The conference will address the theme of norm criticism. Norm-criticism is a very useful tool for understanding and beginning to challenge power structures in society, and for combatting the marginalisation of groups within society. Though a relatively new concept for the majority of IGLYO’s member organisations, there is already some understanding of it theoretically. However, the conference aims to provide information and guidance on putting it into practice. More specifically, the conference objectives are:

• To equip conference participants with knowledge on norm critical approaches
• To encourage organisations and members to analyse their own privileges and the way they have used norms in their work
• To exchange challenges and best practices
• To implement norm-critical approach in practice, in order to be more socially inclusive
• To raise awareness of norm critical approaches with other organisations locally and nationally

The Conference is a key activity in delivering IGLYO’s 2014-2015 strategic priorities, specifically in relation to social inclusion, which is one of the current priority themes. The conference will bring together LGBTQ youth and student activists from across Europe, particularly from IGLYO Member Organisations, who are committed and interested in developing their skills on the norm-critical approach and can act as multipliers in their organisations/communities.

The knowledge gained from our work in 2014 will be put in use to define parts of the conference methodology. Through the use of non-formal education methods we will promote learning through experience, so participants will be able to own the methods and therefore use them in their daily lives, organisational work, and beyond.

The participants will examine the role that norms play within society, organisations, and their lives. By deconstructing these norms they will be more equipped to understand power structures. The activities we will carry out will challenge the participants’ concept of normativity. They will also offer concrete steps to challenge norms, both within organisations and within society. Participants will be asked to reflect on their learning and develop action plans to implement norm-critical activities within their organisational context.

Some of the expected outcomes of the conference are as follows:
• Improved understanding of power systems and structures in society and organisations, and the value of norm-criticism
• Greater understanding of how norm-criticism can be applied in practice, starting from an organisational level
• Providing tools for LGBTQ youth organisations to become more socially inclusive and aware of privilege, while continuously viewing their internal structures and processes with a critical eye
• Equipping LGBTQ youth and students from across Europe to be come knowledge multipliers, with the tools to develop norm-critical activities across other equality and civil society organisations within their own communities and countries

We have opened this call for four preparatory team members to help plan, organize and facilitate this conference. The team will be led by an IGLYO Board member and supported by the IGLYO Secretariat.

The preparatory team has the following responsibilities:
• Deliver the conference outcomes by identifying methods of facilitation for each session within the conference program using both non-formal and formal methodology;
• Select participants on the basis of the given selection criteria;
• Coordinate the running of the event with the rest of the team, including daily reflection groups;
• Ensure a good cohesion and flow among different program elements;
• Attending the full duration of the Prep Team meetings and conference;
• Implement the program by facilitating/moderating workshops and chairing plenary sessions;
• Write the conference report and evaluation;
• Maintain follow-up work after the conference to identify progress made by participants in their own countries.

Prep Team Member profile

Prep Team Members will be:
1. Fluent in English, the conference working language;
2. Between 18 and 30 years of age on 31 May 2015;
3. Experienced in working with LGBTQ youth, ideally within the sphere of norm criticism and/or social inclusion;
4. Experienced in leading non-formal education workshops and activities and be a confident facilitator;
5. Available to attend the full duration of the 4-day preparatory meeting in mid to late March 2015 (dates TBC), as well as the 6-day conference in May 2015, arriving two-three days earlier for the final Prep Team meeting;
6. Responsive and available for a high volume of teamwork before and after the event, mostly by email and over Skype;
7. Available and motivated to provide a reasonable amount of preparation work before the event, mostly via email and over Skype, and indicatively between 2-8 hours a week as the event approaches;
8. Motivated to work in a stimulating, challenging and fun environment of young queer people!

Candidates will be selected based on geographical balance, gender balance, and a good reflection of the LGBTQ diversity. All related expenses including travel, accommodation and subsistence will be covered.

Interested candidates can apply by completing the application form here.

Please note that applications received after the set deadline will not be considered. The preparatory team members will be selected by the IGLYO Executive Board. Successful candidates will be notified by February 20, 2014.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact board@iglyo.com.

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